Syndication Ratings: Most Shows Steady in Post-Sweeps Slowdown

In the first full week post-sweeps, which ended March 13, syndication was slow with most shows steady or down and often in repeats. The week also saw preemptions and interruptions due to coverage of the funeral of former First Lady Nancy Reagan on March 11.

None of the 13 talk shows improved for the week.

CTD’s top talker Dr. Phil was in repeats on three of the five days, and slipped 9% to a 3.0 live plus same day national household rating, but led the field among households for the tenth week in a row.

Disney-ABC’s Live With Kelly and Michael eased 6% to a 2.9 for second-place among households but tied Phil for first place among women 25-54 at a 1.4.

Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres eroded 8% to a 2.4 in households. NBCUniversal’s Steve Harvey stayed at a 1.7. 

CTD’s Rachael Ray held steady at a 1.5, landing in a three-way tie for fifth with NBCU’s Maury, down 6% to a new season low, and Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, which dropped 12%. Compared to the same week last year, Rachael Ray was up 15%, the most annual growth of any talk show. 

SPT’s Dr. Oz slumped 7% to a 1.4. NBCU’s Steve Wilkos also yielded 7% to a 1.3. NBCU’s Jerry Springer, CTD’s The Doctors and Warner Bros.’ The Real also were unchanged at a 1.2, 1.1 and 1.0, respectively, while NBCU’s soon-to-depart Meredith Vieira sank 11% to a new season-low 0.8.

Warner Bros.’ Crime Watch Daily led the first-run newcomers, holding steady at a 1.0. DisneyABC’s FABLife and NBCU’s Crazy Talk, both of which are ending production shortly, were unchanged at a 0.8 and 0.5, respectively. 

CTD’s Judge Judy dipped 5% for the week in mostly encore episodes to a 7.2, but remained syndication’s highest rated strip. Judy also was 6% ahead of last year at this time.

CTD’s Hot Bench receded 8% to a 2.4 for the week, but jumped 50% from last year at this time when it was still airing on independent stations in large markets.

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court fell 11% to a 1.7. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis sagged 7% to a 1.4. Twentieth’s Divorce Court dropped 8% to a 1.2. Trifecta’s Judge Faith was flat at a 0.9.

CTD’s Wheel of Fortune inched up 1% to a 7.0 to lead the games, followed by Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud, which fell 6% to a 6.6, while CTD’s Jeopardy! dipped 2% to a 6.4 for third place.

Further back, Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game and Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire each surrendered 7% to a 1.3, although Name Game was unchanged from last year at this time, while Millionaire deteriorated 24%. 

MGM’s viral video show RightThisMinute remained at a 1.1, down 27% compared to last year at this time.

None of the magazines improved for the week, following a week that included the Oscars. 

CTD’s Entertainment Tonight held steady at a 3.3. CTD’s Inside Edition shrank 3% to a 3.0. Warner Bros.’ TMZ was flat at a 1.8. NBCU’s Access Hollywood was off 6% to a 1.6. Warner Bros.’ Extra also declined 6% to a 1.5. CTD’s The Insider remained at a 1.3 and was the only magazine in the top six to show growth compared to last year, strengthening 8%.

Twentieth’s Dish Nation was flat for the week at a 0.9, while Trifecta’s OK! TV was unchanged at a 0.3. 

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory added 2% to a 6.0. Twentieth’s Modern Family faded 6% to a 3.2. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men, freshman 2 Broke Girls and Mike & Molly and Twentieth’s Family Guy all were flat at a 2.7, 2.1, 2.1 and 2.1. SPT’s Seinfeld skidded 5% to a 1.8, tying Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show, which spiked 6% to a new season high 1.8. Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother stumped 6% to a new season-low 1.5, while Twentieth’s King of the Hill climbed 8% to a 1.4. 

Paige Albiniak

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.